poem, Poetry

Beeswax Neighbors

the man down the alley and across the street

is my guard, my night owl who beckons the night.

a lamp-post squared and watching; the neighborhood.

his cigarette glows, he puffs

with nary a ruffle of his body he sits; perched

in the early pitch of morn’

as i walk khalil, my fearful chocolate lab

past the obelisk monuments

of beeswax neighbors

sleeping with solid vacancy.

they are resting now

while the streets hum quietly, expecting their return.

a distant lowing bark muffles the gray black dawn

my heart races, moves me along my routine path

allowing khalil to sniff briefly

at the sleeping earth’s musk

marking his scent upon its’ dew.

and as the sun’s messengers begin to call

i retreat. while suddenly, silently, one by one

they awake and attack daybreak.

 

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

 

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Art, Artist, Transgender artist

Pyramids and Triangles

This is an ArtDesign abstraction of my original mixed media piece below. It is created in  the instagram layout app.

original triangle and Pyramid

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

 

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poem, Poetry, writer

“Under the Lotus Moon”


Love is to the spirit

what a moon beam is to the night

A smile so bright 

darkness hides under a rock

defeated by the brilliance

of the white-hot light

dancing on the stars

staying awake all night


darkness runs

to the corners of the earth

escaping the wrath

of its’ competitors heart


Love is to the spirit

what a moon beam is to the night

reflections of galaxies

upon the oceans bright

mirrors of adoration

adorning faces despite

the darkness that challenges

loves white-hot light.


Art and Poetry by, Jay Mora-Shihadeh

© Jay Mora-Shihadeh

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Poetry

Fantastic Imagery here! I must share this post from Utsav Raj – “The smell of trees. — My Spirals”

The smell of trees. We’ve spoken about Agastya before, in this post – A new haircut. This poem is based on a very particular line that I wrote for him in that post. I hope you enjoy this! Do comment, a lot. Literally. “He missed his people and the way they smelled like different kinds…

via The smell of trees. — My SpiralsUtsav Raj

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Heart and Forest Oil Paintings merged into an ArtDesign
Art, Artist, Transgender artist

Have a Heart it’s the Best way to be!

I love people who lead their life from their heart. I try, well really, I feel at my best when I listen to my heart and lead a life from a place of love. I think we all come into this life feeling our way with our heart, for the most part. Don’t you? I mean, yes, it’s true some lead more with their brains and all of that good stuff, but… don’t you FEEL better when you live a heart-felt life?

I create art from the heart. I know some artists whose vantage point begins from the objectivity of their minds. If I really dissected it, I believe you cannot separate your mind from your heart, and the sweet-spot is teetering, somewhere right in the middle! Teetering on that high you achieve when you are living a balanced existence, in the moment, in the flow, that sweet dance between your heart and mind, working simultaneously, creating the flow that we all strive for as artists.

My Oil painting “Heart” above came from a process of feeling the flow, extemporaneously and impulsively. I typically begin a painting by haphazardly throwing caution to the wind and lobbing some paint onto my canvas, pushing it around until I see color, shape or form that peaks my interest. I work spontaneous and for the most part, fast.

I took a couple of my oil paintings, Heart and Forest, and merged them into an “ArtDesign” in the layout App from Instagram. I feel making art and writing has a way of keeping me in constant re-invention or re-vision. It pleases my need to satiate my excessive and constant desire for stimulation of the mind. I love the journey, the adventure, the discovery. Ultimately it’s the process I am hooked on. I’m sure many of you can relate.

I love when I work in oil paints. I love the viscous thick feeling of oil paint. It feels alive and it responds in a physical, almost alive manner, or – to my physicality the best. However, it can become challenging to wait for it to dry. So, for this I like to switch between both Oils and Acrylics. The quick drying time of acrylic allows for my fast spontaneous art and the more physical and demanding nature of oils satisfies the need for a longer adventure. Similar to short content verses long form content in writing.

We need both experiences from time to time. At least I do to feel balanced and whole.

(Click on an Image to purchase one of Jay’s Art supply recommendations on Amazon)

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Food, Reblogs

On olives and Istria.

I Love great Food as you can see from one of my blog categories. I especially appreciate the history, culture and diversity of world cuisine, great food photography, food science etc.. This blog happened onto one of my food posts and I’m glad they did. What a fantastic blog! Give it a look.

aho's homemade food

The word Istria may sound rather exotic to some, it surely did to me. Other than the vague idea that the place is somewhere in Croatia (as I was told), I knew close to nothing about it. And yet, we decided to jump at the opportunity, and move there – because why the hell not. And glad we did, I can tell you that much.

On olives and Istria. Olive branches.

I like to think of Istria as an olive country: from whatever point you choose to look, you will probably see an olive grove, or an olive tree at least. A village, town square, seafront alley, parking lot perhaps – the olive trees are everywhere, somehow highlighting (if not stating boldly) the identity of the region. A region where life without the olive oil would be, well, unimaginable.

Coming from Poland, I grew up with butter, lard and other (mostly animal) fats, with…

View original post 1,411 more words

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I am reblogging some of my earlier food posts.This is a fantastic roasted chicken recipe. When I originally wrote this post my wife, was my fiance’!

The Artist From The Inside Out

This is one pretty Bird!  My fiancée’ has perfected the art of roasting chickens.  We  found this great recipe (and we have tried it twice thus far) in my Bon Appetit magazine. I will post the recipe at the end of this blog post.

Mmmmmm….mmmm, they are a great looking pair of legs.

Hey, hey no picking!

Sweet Plum Tomatoes, to make us a nice salad.

Crisp and fresh!

I whipped up a fragrant and light ” Lime vinaigrette”   to toss into our salad.

Jalapeño and scallions ready to sauté with rice,  for our last side dish.

Saute scallions, the peppers, and olive oil with a fresh squeeze of lime juice toss in some white rice and season with salt and pepper.

Tasty stuff!

Finger licking’ , down home,  crispy and  succulent roasted chicken with salad and jalapeño lime rice!

Woo! Hoo! Good Eats.

Yum Food!! Yum Art!!

RECIPE

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Food, foodie, Reblogs

Succulent Roasted Chicken

Originally posted on The Artist From The Inside Out:
This is one pretty Bird!  My fiancée’ has perfected the art of roasting chickens.  We  found this great recipe (and we have tried it twice thus far) in my Bon Appetit magazine. I will post the recipe at the end of this blog post. Mmmmmm….mmmm, they…

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Art, Artist, Transgender artist

Creating ArtDesigns from my Original Artwork has become Addictive!

The act of making art is complicated, but I found a fantastic method to uncomplicate the process that has struck a chord within me. I follow the idea that Abraham Hicks– one of my favorite guru’s – has instilled in my brain. Go with the flow, go downstream!

Some time ago (last year) I lost my job and began this fantastic journey back to my artistic soul, for which I sputtered and spattered along with, for many a moon. After deep contemplation – as we all do when bad things happen – I made a vow to focus as an artist, solely on my artistic path. At first this was uncomplicated, I picked up my pastels and went to town. Boom! The magic happened. I was going with the flow, going downstream. Before I knew it, I went through all my art supplies and had a small fun new collection of artwork. I was back on deck, flying high on my artistic horse.

Until…

I had no more supplies and no more money. Crap. Now what, I thought. So as misery set in once again, I took to my iphone and searched. I searched and searched some more. Then I came across the Layout App from instagram in my Apple store. Simple? Yes, but, oh how the lightbulb went off in my brain!

I started playing around with this tool and creating what I call ArtDesigns, using the photo’s I had of my original paintings and pastels. I came back to my artistic flow once again, but this time it was almost too simple.  This original oil pastel is called “Bowing Down to the Universe”Bowing Down to the Universe.jpg

Of course, because it was so simple, I questioned the legitimacy of this tool. I was so snobbish with myself, I almost failed to see the sheer beauty in it. Solution! duh… and it is free, fun, easy and a whole- lot- less- messy. The clean up has always been my least favorite with painting.

I am making some interesting abstractions and designs using my original artwork as a base. 

The Universe Hovers Above #1

This ArtDesign is called “The Universe Hovers Above #1”,  it was created in the layout App from my original acrylic painting (below). This painting was created originally from my oil pastel, which is the very first piece in this series.

Bowing Down to the Universe - Acrylic.jpeg

The process allows my desire to work fast and clean and abstractly to flourish – with a feeling of satisfaction and an excitement to create more.

The Universe Hovers Above #2

This ArtDesign is called “The Universe Hovers Above #2” and below you will see a patterned abstract – almost non-objective piece – called “The Universe Emanates”

The Universe Emanates.jpeg

I am satisfied with this little collection for now, however, don’t be surprised if I expand on it. That is why we are all on this beautiful planet – to expand.

All Images ©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

If you would like to see more of my art and ArtDesigns visit me on instagram https://www.instagram.com/jaymora_art/ 

And if you want to purchase my art and ArtDesigns on products or framed prints visit my art shop on Society6 – https://society6.com/artdesignsjaymorashihadeh

Jay’s recommended Art Supplies on Amazon: Click an image to purchase

Oil Pastels

    

Acrylic Paint

    

Watercolor Blocks (Paper)

  

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book review, Poetry, writer

Poetry For Sleepless Nights

I’ve had many a night duking it out with my bed. Insomnia is a problem for many of us, especially creatives. Often, I turn to the ‘tried and true’ Book for calming my mind and seducing me to slumber. The blue light from my iPhone keeps me awake, so I prefer to go back to basics with an old-fashioned book.

Poetry is a great choice for perusing, as our minds are the most creative in the wee hours.

I have several poetry books to choose from, however, this is one of my favorites: Acquainted with The Night, Insomnia poems.

Edited by Lisa Russ Spaar and published by Columbia University Press

This is a fine, did I say fine, collection of some sweet-little-gems by some FANTASTIC Poets. Some of them well-known and some a bit more obscure (well, at least to mwah)

Inspired by this little book, I penned this poem in the throes of my sleepless agony one night, or shall I say one morning!

Insomnia

My heart is racing, tap

tap, tapping on the moon

this night is a bore

the quiet stillness

I abhor

forget the blinds

up in the sky, pull-

pull them down

around, around

silly night, you cannot serenade me

seducing me into your spell

I fell-

I fell into my mind

to forget to sleep in time, not mine.

Forever, ’til the end

only this silliness

to contend

around, around

forever and more

the quiet stillness

I abhor.

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

 

Here’s a list of some of the Poets who reside under the covers of this sweet little book.

  1. Elizabeth Bishop
  2. Joyce Carol Oates
  3. Dana Gioia
  4. Charles Simic
  5. William Shakespeare
  6. Umberto Saba
  7. King Tran Thai-Tong
  8. Emily Dickinson
  9. Robert Frost
  10. Walt Whitman

 

Jay’s Poetry Pick available on Amazon 

Click image to purchase

 

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poem, Poetry, winter

Cabin Fever

This small hut is closing in on me

anxious energy burning

within

the boring stale air

the household chores

contemplating the dirty bed sheets

that litter my floor

the broken record of weather, news

skipping, frozen in time

snowbound blues, all boxed in

not amused.

Over-consumption

stuffing my moods with

winter’s brew and howling winds

pacing this room, milking

the season, dry teats depleted

shriveled with fever

icy bones re-heating the leftovers

of last night’s abhorrent gloom

feeding my anticipation of

winter’s impending doom.

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

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family, Memories, Poetry, Transgender artist

My Sister Thinks I’m a Freak

my sister thinks I’m a freak

since childhood

her coldness has wafted about

hung in the air

stench blank and distant stare

steeled  defiance

like the sharp pointed tip of a knife

her judging disapproval

stabs at the walls with a loud

screeching silence

fool-hearted and on the brink of

some kind of manufactured insanity

spewing and churning out

a patented righteousness

a seal that blights my world

with hopes to unfurl

that freakiness she finds so disarming

 

she leaves me wondering…

after all these years, how did we relate?

speechless words

grating gratuities

our bloodlines deflated, flattened

in fact

yearning for some elusive return

of a closeness never had

never shared

never spoken

yet, always wanted.

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

 

 

 

 

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Career, Reblogs, writer, writing

Freelance Writer vs Blogger

I lean towards blogger but also want to write and learn this craft as much as possible. I am a mix.

MiddleMe

Due to the rising work of LadyRedot.com and MiddleMe.net, I have no choice but to recruit freelance writers for LadyRedot’s travel articles.

As I interviewed some of the freelancers, I noticed that there is a great disparity between a writer and a blogger. Leave professionalism aside, I have encountered both noobs and experienced writers and bloggers. Many whom I realised that they don’t know the differences between these two: freelance writer and blogger. I’m no expert here but I’ve engaged enough clients and freelancers to perhaps throw some light to the differences.

quill-175980_960_720

Content
As a freelance writer, you will probably write in different genres. The popular genres you will touch on are romance, mystery, adventure and mystical. However, there are other genres that widely sought after in the commercial market such as advert writing, IT articles, eCommerce descriptions, SEO write ups, rewording, thesis and biography. 

As a blogger, you…

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Art, Artist, Transgender artist

Spine art

This is an abstract I created called “Spinal”, probably representative of  how my back felt one day! Part of my Yin Yang series.

Oil pastel on watercolor paper.

Guess I was feeling better this day!  Haha.  I gave this one to my Chiropractor. (no seriously, I did)  It is simply called “Spine”

 Related articles

 

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

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Art, Artist, Transgender artist

Owl in the abstract

I call this “Owl”  can you see him?   I love pushing around the paint, or in this case oil pastel, until an abstract form appears that I am satisfied with.

Here, these little eyes appeared reminding me of an owl. Owls are my all time  favorite bird. They are mysterious and beautiful, and I love to come across one in the daylight. A rare but awesome sighting.

 

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

 

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Poetry, writer

WORDS

write words

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Words

spill onto the page

with fluid abandon

 

Reaching

grappling

touching

delicate impressions

 

Shaping

smoothing over

astute interactions

 

Sculpting images

that emerge

unexplained yet

graceful

 

Suffering

knowing

 

you are almost there

 

Always.

 

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reblogs, technology, writing

Blogging is Dead, 10K Readers on Wordpress…

I love this. I fully believe that the written word is NOT dead. And my wife and I talk about this all the time, and even if it is DEAD I don’t care,I will never give it up, and besides, it will revive as everything seems to do.

The Art of Blogging

When I told my blogging friends that I wanted to start a new blog to help others with their blogging, they all said I was crazy.

“Isn’t blogging dead?” asked my real-life friends, oblivious to the fact that blogging is still what I do for a living.

And, to be frank, just a few months before launching The Art of Blogging I had spend all my money on buying vlogging gear and transition towards the land of Youtube videos.

I was certain that blogging was dying. The world wanted less mentally strenuous ways of absorbing media, and that would eventually mean the end for blogs.

This was back in January 2018.

Nine months later, there are seven million more WordPress.com hosted blogs. But they all feel it. The ones who are just now starting out. They feel like they’re late to the game. The Internet is such a crowded place…

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Image depicting toxic, scary masculinity
Art, art history, gender, masculinity, Transgender artist

Toxic Masculinity vs. Non-Toxic Masculinity

I don’t want to carry tote bags and wear pink! 

Photo by Moose Photos from PexelsPink Bathrobe.jpg

I’m not touting an anti-pink, anti-feminine, trans male revolt here! However, I’m not fighting to express my toxic masculinity either. I want to claim my non-toxic masculinity without the soft, chewy, gentler male persona, that some men seem to like. I’m kind and unthreatening alright, but I’m tough as rocks, and still sensitive! My intention is to say “Hey, there’s lot’s of gray areas in men too.” I can still be sensitive AND masculine. The toxic masculine social norm, of the last, oh-I-don’t-know, 500 years or so, has annihilated us! Stomping on the subtle nuances and gray areas of our emotions. The new man, those of us who embrace non-toxic masculinity, love our gray areas. You know…I want to eat my entire spectrum of the gray-scale, in one bite. I love the grays, they’re yummy! So many beautiful grays in the world.

Artists haven’t escaped the beating from toxic masculinity either…

For centuries, male artists have ruled the art kingdom. Whether they were “straight” or gay, doesn’t, and didn’t matter much. Point being, toxic masculinity locked women out of the kingdom. Male artists got the recognition, despite having to wait ’til they croaked, and most did, and still do. Except for David Hockney, who this past week, broke a record as the highest paid living artist to date. Selling one of his paintings, for a staggering 90 million dollars!

Abstract Expressionism, an American art movement, born out of New York City (post World War ll), became a breeding ground for toxic male bravado.

Jackson Pollack at Work

Photo credit: Hans Namuth

Jackson Pollack, in my opinion, represented the Abstract Expressionist brand of the hard-drinking, brash, working-class, macho, toxic, overtly masculine, ART SUPERMAN, the best. In fact, he may have invented that brand. His wife, Lee Krasner, a brilliant artist herself, lived in the dark shadows of this classic, toxic male persona her entire life. Sadly, she supported his career, pretty much at the expense of her own.

Becoming Jay, for real…

It pains me to admit it (not really haha)… I love my non-toxic masculinity, but, I love the oh-so-masculine-old-world-alpha-male’s too. As long as they are like me, non-toxic, with lot’s of gray areas. (ie. No bully’s). I am both. That’s my exact point here. Masculinity today is becoming redefined by a new non-toxic-man-movement. Sure, I dreamt of being the Marlboro man (minus cigarette’s) rocky and rugged, a tough outdoors manly man. I still have that dream. The free-wheeling, free-spirited, chock-a-block-of-man, tearing up the wilderness, running with the wolves. Handsome and unbreakable.

I find the masculine binary life liberating in my personal trans-experience. But binary doesn’t need to present as one-dimensional, black and white, with no gray areas. Blah, how drab. Besides, I want to claim my male-artist identity stolen from me growing up dammit! Ha, I said it, whew!…that felt good.

Okay moving on…

Artists are transformative by default. It’s what we do, transform things. Isn’t it contradictory to human nature to pretend we don’t have lot’s and lot’s of gray area’s, non-toxic behaviors or emotions? Little by little that’s changing, but don’t you think, admitting the obvious would transform the art world, the world in general, to advanced levels? Levels where sensitivity is a strength, instead of a weakness.

I guess artists are guilty. Or, are we the lowly bottom feeders of a society, where the callous minions win, over us humans? No control over our own destiny? The hapless victims of a toxic masculinity? Are we doomed to hell for a lifetime?

Or, shall we progress toward enlightenment?

I pick enlightenment.

Transgender artists, like myself, are on a particular spectrum, a spectrum of enlightenment. We kinda have no choice here.  A colorful world, if you will of building a new human identity. An identity where no one life, no one gender, is greater than the other. Instead, experiencing the entire range of our personality. The feminine, the masculine, the whatever we want kinda’ thing. An enlightened life, walking through the fire. The fire of fear.

In today’s world, the violence-the fear-the Xenophobia, suggest’s that “the chickens are coming home to roost.” Toxicity is turning inward and it’s killing us.

I won’t go down with that burning ship. I want to claim my masculine-rugged-alpha-identity, which I longed for growing up.  I don’t want to wear pink though. I don’t want to carry tote bags (not dissing those who do). That isn’t who I am. No prerequisite’s in masculinity, no club to join, at least there shouldn’t be. This funny New York Times piece, pokes fun at non-toxic masculinity a bit. There’s truth in satire, and it’s okay, laughter is healing.

Truth is, non-toxic masculinity is part of what man has suppressed in the collective consciousness of men, since time immemorial. Emotional, but still masculine sensitive men, weren’t allowed to flourish in society, without a brutal beating from its’ dark counterpart, toxic masculinity.

I think in the end, it is obvious, that gender is more like an infinity circle than a binary dichotomy, of this or that.

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

 

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